Improved tourist safety was the topic of a two-day workshop this week attended by participants with links to the tourism sector.
Members of the police force, the foreign and interior ministries, the Lifesaving Federation, NGO Reaction, the Cyprus Bartenders Association and other organisations working with tourists took part in the event.
Six working groups dealt with the main areas of concern: excessive alcohol consumption, the safety of bathers, thefts and harassment, health and nursing, road accidents and international relations.
Participants agreed that more effective dissemination of information on measures was necessary and that meetings would be held with embassies. They also agreed to improve coordination between the various groups.
The workshop also looked at past successes including the last year’s preparatory work to push legislation to extend the working hours of lifeguards. The longer hours which were introduced last year by the interior ministry have considerably increased the safety of bathers, said Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) board member Xenia Loizidou.
The increase in tourist arrivals in Cyprus is related to the high level of security the island offers, police spokesman Andreas Angelides told participants, stressing the importance of investing in public safety.
With rapid changes in the region in terms of security in the Middle East and Europe, cooperation between the police and the public is necessary to maintain and ensure a high level of security, he said.
He said the Cyprus police force frequently meets with municipal authorities in tourist areas to strengthen security measures and arranges educational seminars and campaigns to prevent traffic accidents and crimes.
The platform was established at an initiative of the CTO and the British High Commission in 2015.